The Black Swamp Bird Observatory is among the organizations and agencies to be lauded by the Ohio Senate for their role in promoting bird habitat, research, and conservation.
A resolution approved by the Senate designates May 10 as Bird Ohio Day to recognize the importance of bird and bird habitat stewardship.
“Bird watching has become one of the most popular and economically significant forms of outdoor recreation in Ohio and throughout the United States,” a resolution passed last month by the senate says. “Birding tourism contributes significantly to economic development in northwest Ohio. Thousands of birdwatchers from across the country and around the world visit Northwest Ohio and the southwest shore of Lake Erie each spring to witness the spectacle of bird migration and to participate in the Biggest Week in American Birding Festival organized by the Black Swamp Bird Observatory of Oak Harbor.”
Research by Bowling Green State University and the Observatory includes estimates that visiting birdwatchers spend more than $30 million in northern Ohio each spring.
According to the resolution, nature conservation, including the protection of bird habitats, has both aesthetic and economic side effects, including increased real estate values along nature preserves and land protected by conservation easements.
Other agencies and organizations listed in the resolution include Destination Toledo, Lake Erie Shores and Islands, Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center, Metroparks of the Toledo Area, Erie Metroparks, Cleveland Metroparks, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Columbus Audubon Society, Ohio Ornithological Society, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio park districts and zoos and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“I am pleased to sponsor the Senate resolution recognizing May 10 as Bird Ohio Day. “Birding is an important part of Ohio’s strong and diverse travel and tourism economy, in addition to bringing great enjoyment to thousands of Ohioans and visitors to Ohio from all over the world,” Sen. Randy Gardner said.
Black Swamp Bird Observatory Executive Director Kimberly Kaufman has high hopes for the resolution.
“The passage of the Bird Ohio Day resolution is a milestone for birding, habitat conservation, and economic development. This resolution and the celebration of each year will do much to raise awareness of the importance of birding to the economy and the value of conserving the habitat that this economic engine is built upon.” said Kaufman.
Kaufman also offered thanks to Senator Gardner for his tremendous support.
“We are incredibly honored that Senator Gardner was willing to sponsor the resolution, and we offer our sincere appreciation to him and to his wonderful and supportive staff for helping to make our vision for Bird Ohio Day a reality,”